Rolls-Royce’s first electric car has two doors and is longer than a Cadillac Escalade | Motor vehicle

Rolls-Royce will start production of its first electric car next year. It has only two doors, but is longer than a full-size SUV. And among its countless options, the Specter will be offered with stars in the doors.

The British ultra-luxury car brand has for years offered a feature called the “Starlight Headliner”, which fills the ceiling with an array of thousands of tiny lights. The lights, which are actually the ends of fiber optic cables, look random, but are actually arranged to look like the night sky over Goodwood, UK, the site of the Rolls-Royce factory. With the Spectre, Rolls-Royce is adding this feature to the inside of the doors, which will have an additional 5,876 “stars”, so that the occupants are completely surrounded by shimmering points of light.

Despite not requiring nearly as much air as Rolls-Royce’s V12-powered cars, the Specter will have the widest grille ever seen on a Rolls-Royce model. Still, the Specter is the most aerodynamic Rolls-Royce yet, according to the company, which claims the car has a drag coefficient of 0.25. That is quite tight, but just in the margins among modern electric cars.

However, even an electric Rolls-Royce could hardly do without the grille, as the upright, tombstone-shaped slab of metal slats is one of the most iconic in the industry.

“The Specter is just as important to us as Silver Ghost was many, many years ago and it marks the start of a new era for the brand going all-electric in 2030,” Rolls-Royce CEO Torsten Müller-Ötvös said in a statement. interview with CNN Business. “So we want to make sure this car is right and perfect and is a real, perfect Rolls Royce.”

First produced in 1906, the Silver Ghost is credited with establishing Rolls-Royce’s reputation as the pinnacle of automotive quality.

The Specter shares its fundamental underlying structure with Rolls-Royce’s gas-powered models: the Phantom and Ghost sedans and the Cullinan SUV. This follows the strategy of BMW, the parent company of Rolls-Royce, which also relies on flexible engineering that can be used to build both petrol and electric cars.

In traditional Rolls-Royce fashion, the Specter’s two doors are hinged at the rear and open to the rear. (On four-door Rolls-Royce models, only the rear doors open this way.) Because of its size and space, Roll-Royce calls the Specter a “super coupe.” It is about six inches longer and two inches wider than the last Rolls-Royce coupe, the Wraith, which went out of production earlier this year. It’s also about an inch longer than a Cadillac Escalade SUV, and slightly wider. Four-wheel steering should make the big car more agile in tight corners.

The overall tapered shape of the car was influenced by yachts, according to Rolls-Royce, a theme similar to that of another recent Rolls-Royce that is arguably the most expensive car ever made. Last year, the brand unveiled a convertible called the Boat Tail, of which only three were built at an estimated cost of $25 million each.

While many electric cars have extremely large touchscreens and rely on them for many internal controls, the Specter will rely more on physical controls, Müller-Ötvös said. There will be screens, but using them will be more subdued, he said.

The Specter’s total weight of 6,659 pounds — about 600 pounds more than a Cullinan SUV — includes more than 1,500 pounds of sound deadening insulation to ensure the ideal Rolls-Royce level of silence. Typically, automakers try to save weight when making electric cars to offset all the mass the batteries themselves add. But for Rolls-Royce, weight has never been a big issue. The cars are expected to be literally huge.

The 557 horsepower car can go from 0 to 100 kilometers per hour in about 4.4 seconds and can drive about 420 kilometers before needing to be charged. That, emphasizes Müller-Ötvös, will be enough.

“We would never compromise the experience of the car or the look of the car just because of the range,” he said.


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